Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

Price drops spark California home sales

Orange, Contra Costa counties see largest gains

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Southern California home sales jumped 26.9 percent and San Francisco Bay Area home sales rose 12.3 percent in November compared to the same month last year -- while median prices plunged 34.5 percent and 44.4 percent, respectively. That's according to data released this week by real estate research company DataQuick Information Systems. The sharpest San Francisco-area sales rise was in Contra Costa County, with sales leaping 61.9 percent year-over-year in November. That county also experienced the region's largest slide in the median sale price of all new and resale homes and condos -- down 44.4 percent. John Walsh, DataQuick president, noted that the "near free-fall" in the Bay Area's median price "certainly doesn't mean every home has seen its value plummet that far. The median measures what is selling in the region, and recently the hottest sellers have been discounted, distressed homes, mainly inland." He also noted that coastal and move-up markets ...